Working with Millennials in Your Restaurant
How are we going to work with millennials in your restaurant? I have been trying to answer this question for 10 years now. It wasn’t an easy task but I think I have figured it out. It took some getting used to and I had to bite my tongue a lot, but they aren’t as bad as everyone has made them out to be. Millennials do have their flaws but so does every generation. The funny part is, is we have NO one to blame but ourselves. We are the ones that raised them and now we’re mad them because they aren’t the way we wanted them to be! How did we want them to be like us! We did this! If you want to get mad at someone look at yourself in the mirror and yell at yourself.
How Many Think of Millennials
Some of you may be asking what is a millennial? They are also known as generation Y. They are the generation that whine and cry about every little thing that doesn’t go their way. They like no responsibilities and they run to mom and dad for everything! They don’t believe there is a difference between genders that we are all one. They believe that war solves nothing and we should all just love each other. They live at home until they are about 30. They don’t want to get married or have kids. They don’t want car payments. They would rather ride a bike or walk. There’s one thing I almost forgot. They love to take selfies and than hash-tag it #bestdayever! Lets not forget lazy as well and the worst generation yet.
If you are a millennial I probably have your blood pumping and your ready to kill me. Remember though violence solves nothing, and we should all love each other. I will say that only part of that is true. What I wrote is a stereo type that the older generations have made up about millennials. Really they were born after 1981. It is said that the year 2017 is going to be the first year that they out spend the baby boomers. Look out baby boomers there coming for you. Social media hasn’t helped the situation. Before you would just go to the store someone would take your parking spot and you would find another one. Now when that same scenario happens you take a picture of it and blast it on every social media site you can think of. Social media has played a big role in this generations up bringing. I was probably one of the last people to get on board with this whole social media thing. My son as well I didn’t let him get a social media account until he was 14. Now he is one of the ones that really could careless about social media. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing yet?
Its hard for someone from an older generation to work with millennials for several reasons. Here are a few of them.
Millennial Stereo Types
1. On time
When baby boomers got a job they were there 20 minutes early and they didn’t punch in until they were scheduled. If the crew needed help before their scheduled time they would help, off the clock. Baby boomers would stay 20 minutes later than they were scheduled as well. Millennials like to get to work late leave early and get paid 3 times the amount of a baby boomer.
Baby boomers started at minimum wage which was probably around $4.25 per hour if not less and worked up the ladder. Everything was a lot cheaper than, but never the less it worked. Today millennials want to start out at $10 per hour and work less so they can take more time off.
3. Start at the Top or Self Entitled
I hear this one a lot. People say all the time that they feel millennials feel self entitled like they should be the boss on day one. Baby boomers started at the very bottom and they worked up to the top.
You can imagine why baby boomers have a hard time working with millennials
But now let me tell you how you can get the most out of millennials.
How to Work with Millennials
The number one thing every millennial says when you ask them what the number one thing is they want the most in a job is“I want to work some where with purpose or where I can make a difference.” Every time! Ask them for your self next time. They want to feel as though they are making a difference. Give them the freedom to do so. As long as they are being productive let them have the ability to change things, fix things, come up with new solutions or things for the menu. I do this all the time. I ask them what we should change or how we can get more business. It makes them feel like they are helping a bigger cause. Give it a try.
We are dealing with the technology age where people see whats happening around the world instantaneously as it is happening. We see how other people are living on other side of the world. So with people having access to all this it gives them the sense of wanting to experience life. They no longer want to come in at 8:30 and leave at 4:30. That’s not how they think. They want to have the freedom to make their own schedule so they can experience life when they want to experience it. As the boss you should want them to experience as much life as they possibly can. It’s going to help you in the long run. They are going to be more productive when they are there, and they are going to bring these experiences back to your company.
I have a story about this.
I deal a lot with millennials and they spring a lot of vacations on me at the last minute. There always going somewhere with their parents. I am always flexible with them because I know what it is like. They want to explore and go as many places as they can. While they are gone they usually stay in contact with me. Most recently one of them started sending me pictures of a pizza place she was at. I own a pizza place. They know I like this kind of research. By me being understanding they do research for me while they are out. They are bringing their life experiences back with them and helping the company.
If they like something they had on the menu I hear all about it. If they liked how something was done I hear all about that to. I am just a small pizza restaurant but this could help your business out as well on a bigger scale. This feeds their need for creativity.
Communication is a big part of a successful relationship no mater what kind of relationship it is work, or at home. Asking them the right question and listening to what they have to say. It isn’t enough to just ask them questions but you have to actually listen to what they are saying. The first point I made I said I ask them what they would like to see on the menu. I listen I don’t take all there ideas. I will take a few of there ideas. I have everyone try them, and if they are good we will put them on the menu. Some times I even let them name the dish. Like I said earlier it makes them feel like they are part of the company.
If I ask them how can we get more business they will give me ideas. Sometimes I will let them try there ideas to see if they will work. For instance if they say we need to flyer more. I will send them out to do whatever idea they came up with. Sometimes it’s a homerun other times it’s a dud. You know what though we are no further behind then we were before. That team member feels as though they are part of something bigger than just a server or a dish washer.
People say they are self entitled. Well maybe they are but give them a title than. Don’t just let them be a “dish washer” call them a dish technician. It will make them smile and they will go tell everyone I am a dish technician. They will take more pride in their work as well. I have even known some employers who have business cards made up for everyone that will say head server. It might be their first day but they still have a business card with their name on it. What’s it going to hurt? Absolutely nothing! They will show everyone. Mom and dad will put it right on the frig too. I have even heard of someone giving their team members free meal cards to hand out. They are only allowed to hand it out if they hear someone has had a bad experience at your restaurant. It works for them. Maybe they give a few free ones out to there friends and you don’t catch it. Big deal that person still tried your food if nothing else. Giving them a title will go a long ways.
Just Try It!
Try some of these out you will be surprised what you get out of your millennials. They will work just as hard if not harder than the baby boomers if you do these few simple things. #millenialsdowork